Telemetry2U Technical Bulletins

Bulletin T2U TB10

Adding Dragino NB-IoT Sensors to T2U

Target audience:
Users requiring the large coverage provided by the Telstra 'NarrowBand Internet-of-Things' (NB-IoT) network or other telco providers
Applies to:
All users
Release date:
November 11, 2022

Prerequisites

  1. A Telemetry2U account running on a free trial or a paid subscription. Refer to the T2U Quick Guide to help get up and running.
  2. An active Telstra SIM card with at least 250KB/month data allowance already fitted in the NSE01. Telemetry2U can supply a Telstra SIM card, or you can BYO.
  3. A terminal program such as RealTerm or PuTTy as well as a USB-to-TTL converter with cables to connect to the NSE01.

Summary

This example walks though adding a Dragino NSE01 'NarrowBand Internet-of-Things' (NB-IoT) Soil Moisture /Conductivity/Temperature sensor to T2U via Telstra’s NB-IoT network using a UDP connection. The NSE01 can also connect via TCP, MQQT or COAP, however, UDP is the most power and data efficient method.

The NSE01 will be configured to log data to its internal memory every 20-minutes. Every 2-hours it will wake-up, connect to the network and send all 6 logged records over the one connection (as well as one more record taken after the connection has been established). This greatly extends the battery life. It is possible to send a single record every 20-minutes by configuring the device to not send any records from memory (AT+NOUD=0 and AT+TDC=1200) but this will use more power.

Dragino have been adding many new NB-IoT sensors to their product line. These instructions should also prove helpful for some of their other sensors when it comes to integrating to T2U using the Telstra NB-IoT network.

The Telstra 'NarrowBand Internet-of-Things' (NB-IoT) network has around ~4-million square Kms of coverage in Australia - that exceeds 4/5G coverage by ~1-million square Kms.

Telstra NB-IoT Coverage Map

Configuring the Dragino NSE01 with RealTerm

We're using RealTerm to connect to the Dragino NSE01 in this example. Firstly, connect your USB-to-TTL Converter to the Dragino NSE01 with the following connections -

GND >> GND - TX >> RX - RX >> TX

Dragino NSE01 TTL-USB Connections
Note:

Make sure you have correctly installed your activated SIM card and powered up the NSE01 with the jumper. Please refer to the Dragino NSE01 user manual for more infromation on how to do this.

Initiate a connection at with the NSE01 using the default settings of 9600 baud, 8 data bits, 1 stop bit, no parity, no flow control (9600 8N1 None). If successful, you should see the device output header when reset.

The Dragino NSE01 can be configured to send multiple packets (stored in memory) over one uplink to save power. In this case, we'll configure the NSE01 to log every 20-minutes and send every 2-hours - effectively sending 6x packets every 2 hours.

Send the following commands in order to configure the device to work with Telemetry2U.

12345678 - This is the password for the NSE01 running v1.3.2.

AT+PRO=2 - Configures the device to use the UDP Protocol.

AT+SERVADDR=telemetry2u.com,4483 - Configures the server address(telemetry2u.com) and port(4483) required for T2U.

AT+APN=telstra.iot - The APN used by your data provider. In our case we use Telstra's NB-IoT Network (telstra.iot).

AT+TR=1200 - Sets the frequency the NSE01 wakes up to take a sensor reading and store to memory.

AT+NOUD=6 - Sets the number of packets that will be uploaded every transmit interval.

AT+TDC=7200 - How often the NSE01 will initate a connection and send the logged data (TR and NOUD set above).

Note:

The Dragino NSE01 sends one additional packet taken at the time of connection that includes the battery voltage, so in this case a total of seven packets will be sent every uplink.

Currently for the Dragino NSE01 to work on the Telstra APN (telstra.iot), you need to set the APN (telstra.iot) enable the dual stake configuration (IPV4 and IPV6) in the Quectel modem directly. Commands not recognised by the Dragino firmware are passed to the Quectel modem automatically. Send the following.

AT+CGATT=0 - Detach the modem.

AT+CGDCONT=0,"IPV4V6","telstra.iot" - Set APN and enable dual stack configuration.

AT+CGATT=1 - Re-attach modem.

ATZ - Resets the Dragino NSE01. The device will not connect to T2U at this stage as it still needs to be added on the T2U platform.

AT+CFG - Confirm the settings are the same as described above and while you're here, make a note of the 8-Byte(HEX) DEUI as this will be required in the next steps.

Dragino LSE01 T2U Settings
Note:

For more detailed information on the Dragino NSE01 Soil Moisture sensor, please refer to Dragino's online manual.

Adding Dragino NB-IOT Sensor to the T2U Platform

Firstly, log into your Telemetry2U account and use the top menu to navigate to Admin >> Node Maintenance. Hit the Create New link in the top left corner. On the new page, you must enter at least the following.

  • Description - A unique name given to your device that will be used to identify the device on all pages
  • Device EUI - The is the DEUI retrieved from terminal earlier. You may need to add a "F" to the start if you find you're a character short.
  • Network Provider - You must select "NB-IoT over UDP" here."
  • Device Configuration - The device configuration sets up the data decoder and downlink commands. Select the one appropriate for your sensor.
Note:

If you device configuration is not listed, please contact Telemetry2U with you device details and we will add it for you ASAP.

Add NB-IoT device to Telemetry2U (T2U)

Once you're done, hit the Save button at the bottom of the page.

Note:

You can read more about adding devices on T2U in our documentation.

Confirm you're receiving data on T2U

If everything has been configured correctly, you should now be able to reset your Dragino NB-IoT device using either the reset button or the ATZ command via terminal. This time it should connect to Telemetry2U successfully and you should see some debug messages in the terminal window indicating as such, "Send Complete", "End of Upload" etc.

You should now leave the sensor powered up for at least two hours to give it a chance to send its first uplink. Remember that we set the LSE01 to record data every 20-minutes and then send it all at once every 2-hours.

Now you can got back to Telemetry2U and use the main menu to navigate to the Reports page. If you select your NB-IoT sensor from the Nodes: drop-down box, you should see some data like in the example image below.

Confirm you are receiving data on the reports page
Note:

There are actually 7-records sent with this configuration. Six from memory and one that is collected after the UDP connection is made (around 35-seconds after the last logged record) and that also includes the Battery voltage.

What more can you do?

Telemetry2U is a complete IoT platform that works with NB-IoT networks across the world. You can now easily view data on real-time dashboards, charts and tables on any internet connected device. Configure alerts to notify you via email, SMS or even voice calls if sensors deviate out of your programmed setpoints.

You can even control devices remotely from your smartphone or PC with NB-IoT I/O controllers. Trigger control commands based on sensor inputs to automate tasks and even put 'things' on a timed schedule.

With such simple integration to a growing range of NB-IoT hardware, Telemetry2U's powerful IoT platform opens up even more deployable applications suitable for just about any scenario - and you don't have to be an engineer to get projects off the ground yourself.



Looking for an easier option?

Telemetry2U can supply Dragino's range of NB-IoT products via our online store. Purchase you NB-IoT sensor(s) with a pre-fitted SIM card and an IoT platform subscription and your sensor will be shipped in a plug-and-play format - linked to your account, ready-to-go!



NSE01 Demo Dashboard